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Downtown Academy

Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals established Downtown Academy in 2010 to answer the question: how do we make downtown Fresno a vibrant place to live and work? In 2016, the Downtown Fresno Partnership and Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals joined forces to make the program even bigger and better. This year, the program enters its 9th cohort with nearly 200 graduating members.

So, what is Downtown Academy? Downtown Academy is a 9-month award-winning collaborative program designed to connect key business, government, and community leaders with forward-thinking young professionals to explore downtown Fresno, how we got here and where we’re headed. Downtown Academy received the 2016 Leadership & Management Excellence Award from the International Downtown Association.

The class meets on the first Wednesday of every month, unless otherwise noted, to take tours of downtown projects and hear from community leaders about obstacles and opportunities in our city center.  This program was referred to as “one of the best programs to come out of the revitalization movement” by former mayor, Ashley Swearengin (3.3.2016).

About FLYP

Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP) is a non-profit organization that serves young professionals. Our purpose is to attract and retain dedicated and passionate individuals in the greater Fresno area who are committed to professional and civic leadership. For more info visit


Applicants will be notified September 6th if accepted into the program. Downtown Academy does include a program fee of $450 to cover expenses such as per class meals and the overnight class trip. Payment plan options will be provided.

Downtown Academy Scholarship

The Downtown Fresno Foundation (DFF) and supporting sponsors have come together for the first time in the existence of the program to provide financial assistance to applicants accepted into the DTA Class IX with the Downtown Academy Scholarship Program.

Scholarship Guiding Principles

When awarding scholarships for the DTA program, the Downtown Academy Scholarship Committee adheres to the following principles:

  • The scholarships available will cover partial to full amount of the program fee. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need as determined by the information provided on the general program application, letter of request and interview with DTA Scholarship Committee.
  • To the extent they are able, class members have the primary responsibility to pay the program fee. Payment options will be available to all class members.
  • The DTA Application is required to be submitted or the candidate will not be considered for a scholarship.

Application are now CLOSED

Those who are applying for the Downtown Academy Scholarship also need to submit a general Downtown Academy Application.

To apply applicants should write a letter of request answering the following:

  1. Why are you applying to the program?
  2. What do you believe you can contribute to the program?
  3. What do you hope to get out of the program?
  4. Why are you in need of financial assistance?

Submit this letter to the DFF Executive Director, Jazzmine Young at as a PDF attachment.

Applicants will be invited to a short interview with the Downtown Academy Scholarship Committee to discuss their applications. After all applicants have been interviewed, the scholarship committee will determine the scholarship awards. The Program Manager will communicate with the applicants being awarded the scholarship funds. Do understand there may not be sufficient number of scholarships to be awarded to all candidates who request assistance.

For any questions please contact Jazzmine Young at or call 559-490-9966 ext. 227.